I was a little iffy about visiting Kitty Lab because of the $38 price tag and the lack of information on what we’re actually paying for.
Photos and videos are not allowed inside so it’s kind of hard to find information online.
But it’s like a rare thing (in celebration of Hello Kitty’s 35th Anniversary) plus I was quite curious, plus Minou wanted to go. So we went!
Because it’s Sitex weekend, and there were cars queueing up to go into the Singapore Expo, Kerrendor (our assigned chauffeur for the day) dropped us off at a nearby roadside. We kind of ended up at the back of all the halls and had to pass through a long stretch of loading bays and rusty containers to get to the front.
But I’m sure you don’t want to see photos of rusty containers.
We found Kitty Lab eventually!
It wasn’t very crowded. Today is the second last day of the show.
Well, it’s not exactly a show. It’s more like an experience.
I’m so sad that they don’t allow us to take photos inside because everything is SO SO SO SO CUTE! I would take a zillion photos!!!!
I guess that’s why they don’t allow photo-taking. Nobody would ever want to leave!
But we saw a few people wilfully neglecting the “NO PHOTO / VIDEO” signs liberally pasted all over the lab and nobody stopped them.
Unfortunately, I’m not one to blatantly flout rules, so I didn’t take out my camera.
Here’s the entrance to the lab:
We were each given a map and a Hello Kitty lanyard.
Once we entered, we were reminded that photography and videos weren’t allowed, and then we were ushered into a lab-like area. It looked kind of kiddy futuristic. Like metallic plate walls with bolts and strange looking equipment but all made of plastic or something.
It was very nice, though. We felt instantly transported into a magical place! (It was quite cold, too, but luckily I went prepared with my thick coat.)
The ushers all wore white Hello Kitty lab coats and guided us every step of the way.
There was a short presentation on our purpose for being there, which didn’t make a lot of sense. Something about Dr Kitty inventing something called KTA (Hello Kitty DNA), which allows researchers (us) to customise our own Hello Kitty.
Inside, we were given one KTA each. It’s a plastic blobby Hello Kitty with a strap so we could carry it easier. This was to be our tool for collecting Hello Kitty DNA or something like that.
Inside the lab were 11 stations we had to progress through to complete our quest, which was to create a Hello Kitty.
At each station, we placed our KTA on a scanner and played a mini game. If we won, we could pick one item, such as an accessory, clothing or shoe and the scanner would transmit our choice into our KTA. (If we lost, the computer would pick for us.)
Some of the mini games involved motion and voice sensors. One of them made us hold a KTA and shake it up and down vigorously for like 10 seconds.
In another game, we had to dodge oncoming cars on the screen by moving our bodies.
The entire area was quite small. One building to the next was only like three steps away.
After each mini game, the computer would tell us which station to go to next. It’s different for every guest but if you’re with friends, the “lab technicians” will make it so that you share the same sequence.
The games were pretty easy, suitable even for kids. But it was still fun for us because of the novelty factor.
Oh, and there’s, like, a Kitty Police Station for people to go to if they get lost. That’s so cute! It’s hard to get lost in there, though.
Everything was so cute inside! I mean REALLY CUTE. Cute and wonderful in unexpected ways. The statues, the props and the buildings were all so pretty and creative. Each station was an actual building! It’s sort of like stepping into a movie set, I guess.
Minou’s and my favourite were Kitty Cafe. Inside was a big display shelf full of fake Hello Kitty pastries, bigger than normal size, which made them even cuter. You know how cute fake Japanese food can get!
At the start, we were told our quest would take 45 minutes. But if we completed it within 35 minutes, we would receive a Good Citizen Badge.
We completed it in 23 minutes.
And then we were out the last station.
Even the exit was cute! We walked out of Nekosen Station, which was made to look like a subway tunnel. From there, we emerged into a customs area. There were a few counters with the word CUSTOMS on them, each manned by a HK lab-wearing person.
There, we turned in our KTA and received our Good Citizen Badge.
The last stop was the souvenir shop but there was nothing there we felt was worth buying.
Including the briefing and presentation, the entire process took us only about half an hour.
Our customised Hello Kitty were presented to us in the form of cards.
And here’s our Good Citizen Badge!
I think $38 is really pricey for half an hour of entertainment, but I felt it was worth every cent because it was so magical and beautiful inside. Totally nothing like what I had tried to anticipate. Trust the Japanese to come up with such delightful creations. I totally do not regret going!
But I felt they could have given us more souvenirs. Or had more worthy souvenirs for us to buy.
I don’t know if there will ever be more Kitty Labs in the future but I hope so because I want to go again!